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Credentialing 2020
Who is Meeting Emergent Provider Needs During COVID-19?

author - Tanya Egbert
Tanya Egbert
author - Amanda Wind Smith
Amanda Wind Smith
author - Emily Paxman
Emily Paxman
January 6, 2021 | Read Time: 7  minutes

Quick, effective credentialing solutions have never been more critical for provider organizations than during the COVID-19 crisis. This report examines how well credentialing solutions are addressing the following top-of-mind market challenges: remote credentialing approval, urgent and emergency approvals, telehealth credentialing, and out-of-state credentialing. It also shares which vendors are providing strong value and customer partnership.

Some of the vendors in this space take different approaches to credentialing or serve different segments of the market (e.g., Verge Health offers primarily services; Modio Health and Silversheet serve mostly ambulatory organizations). However, all share the same goal: to enable and support provider organizations’ credentialing processes.

Verge Health’s Remote Credentialing Capabilities Outpace the Market

how well does your solution support a remote credentialing approval process? Verge Health offers primarily services with an interactive web portal, which customers say has made them nimble and able to respond effectively during COVID-19. Verge receives a near-perfect customer rating for supporting remote credentialing-approval processes. Multiple organizations report that thanks to Verge, they have gone completely paperless for this process. While it can be difficult to remotely ensure physicians and other parties move tasks along during the approval process, Verge’s credentialing specialists take a proactive approach, sending updates and encouraging quick approvals. This hands-on service and Verge’s consultative approach are strong differentiators driving satisfaction with remote credentialing. Verge was recently acquired by RLDatix. Modio Health (mostly ambulatory) and ASM MD-Staff both offer functional, reliable solutions that support most remote credentialing needs; some clients want better usability and further development for remote credentialing. symplr Cactus customers feel they have to drive the remote approval process forward by working around the system. symplr has not been a proactive partner, and this compounds technology issues. The committee manager module is difficult to use and requires significant time and manpower to set up well. Clients have been requesting improvements in these areas since before COVID-19 but have yet to see changes.

Verge Health, Modio, ASM MD-Staff Consistently Meet or Exceed Expectations for Emergency Credentialing

does your solution meet your needs for urgent/emergency credentialing in a timely manner? Verge Health often exceeds expectations for urgent credentialing by quickly and effectively devoting resources to drive things forward. Clients say Verge actively tracks regional needs to ensure they are prepared to add extra staff where needed. Almost half of interviewed Modio Health and ASM MD-Staff clients report exceeded expectations for emergency credentialing. Modio Health (mostly ambulatory, acquired by CHG Healthcare in 2019) has made good use of customer representatives, online chat tools, and alerts to drive the process. Their panic mode feature allows customers to get help almost immediately. Customer organizations who say that Modio met but did not exceed expectations are driving processes on their own without significant vendor guidance. ASM MD-Staff has been a top performer in the credentialing space, winning the KLAS Category Leader Award in 2020. Customers say the vendor consistently meets timelines for emergent and non-emergent needs, which has allowed organizations to stay appropriately staffed during the pandemic. The vendor’s AI capabilities help expedite timelines. More hands-on guidance during emergent situations would allow ASM to be more nimble in the current COVID-19 environment. Urgent credentialing is an area of stronger performance for symplr Cactus, who has met or exceeded most customers’ expectations in this area.

symplr Cactus and VerityStream Echo Fail to Deliver the Expected Value

Over half of symplr Cactus customers report nickel-and-diming and feel the vendor lags in driving tangible outcomes. symplr’s à la carte sales approach results in customers not buying all they need to be successful (e.g., customers who don’t purchase the module for electronically filling out documents must use email, printing, and faxing). Fees associated with both provider-requested system tweaks and vendor-driven changes make the latest functionality cost-prohibitive, limiting the outcomes customers achieve. Customers say the system drives outcomes in the form of automated processes, but they don’t report measurable efficiency gains or other benefits. Furthermore, those on the newer web version say they have not received the training to fully leverage it. IntelliSoft, acquired by symplr in 2019, generally meets customer expectations and has a high degree of customer loyalty thanks to consistency in keeping promises. Nickel-and-diming and less hands-on guidance from the vendor hurt overall value and hinder notable outcomes.

VerityStream offers three platforms: Echo and MSOW (both legacy platforms, though they will continue to be supported) and the new CredentialStream platform (too early to measure). MSOW users report nickel-and-diming more frequently than any other measured customer base. Unexpected costs are associated with things customers feel should be included, like training and time spent on implementation. Additionally, a poor fee structure can lead to unexpected charges. Respondents note that if organizations are specific and aggressive during contracting, they can get the fee structure to a better state. Because of the cost, some customers are not taking full advantage of available functionality, thus hurting outcomes. MSOW’s reports are seen as useful and on pace with the market, adding value; respondents note that reports require a lot of knowledge to build.

how well do vendors deliver value?

Verge Health and Modio Seen as Strong Go-Forward Partners

is your vendor a partner who can help you through evolving credentialing needs? While COVID-19 highlighted the need for credentialing vendors to offer good support, provider organizations need a strong vendor partner long term as that partnership directly impacts perceived outcomes. All interviewed Verge Health customers say they see their vendor as a partner. Respondents say Verge continually updates their solution capabilities to meet organizations’ evolving needs. They also proactively anticipate client needs (both at the industry level and the individual customer level) and are highly communicative. Modio is also seen as a strong partner, largely due to perceived flexibility; customers say the vendor is open to new ideas and creative approaches to meeting needs during the pandemic. Respondents also feel Modio has their back, even saying it feels like the vendor’s people are part of the organization team. Based on limited data, Silversheet’s smaller customer base has allowed them to focus on meeting individual customers’ unique needs. Clients feel they could improve with additional, proactive communication. VerityStream (Echo or MSOW), ASM MD-Staff, and symplr Cactus customers would like more proactive support and strategic guidance from their vendor to help them be more successful with credentialing. Clients of Silversheet (mostly ambulatory, acquired by AMN Healthcare in 2019) report the vendor is responsive and communicative, going to work immediately after a customer communicates a need. Some respondents would like the system to be better suited to emergent situations, which would allow Silversheet to be a stronger partner in times of crisis.

Almost All Vendors Provide Strong Telehealth Credentialing That Meets Customers’ Needs

While telehealth credentialing is a critical capability during COVID-19, almost any vendor can deliver a positive experience with telehealth credentialing. ASM MD-Staff, Modio, Silversheet (limited data), Verge, and VerityStream Echo all consistently meet or exceed client expectations in this area. Respondents cite quick turnaround times and effective management of credentialing by proxy. Customers of IntelliSoft, acquired by symplr in 2019, say tools for telehealth credentialing meet their needs, though they don’t exceed expectations.

Respondents using VerityStream MSOW or symplr Cactus are most likely to report challenges with telehealth credentialing. These concerns are not tied to telehealth specifically, but rather mirror customers’ general concerns. VerityStream MSOW clients have a similar experience with telehealth as they do with standard credentialing, with cost challenges and a lack of hands-on guidance limiting satisfaction. symplr Cactus clients feel the credentialing process is not as effective as they need because of poor system usability, complicated workflows, and lack of strategic guidance from symplr. Some customers say the solution might be better suited to telehealth credentialing than they are aware of, but because of nickel-and-diming practices, they are not using all available functionality.

support of telehealth credentialing vs telehealth information management across state lines

Credentialing Vendors’ Overall Performance

This report focuses on specific, top-of-mind credentialing needs. KLAS also collects ongoing customer ratings in more general customer satisfaction areas, including culture, loyalty, operations, product, and relationship. The chart to the right shows the overall performance scores of the vendors measured in this report. For more on these vendors, visit the KLAS website.

overall performance score

About This Report

Each year, KLAS interviews thousands of healthcare professionals about the IT products and services their organizations use. These interviews are conducted using a standard quantitative evaluation, and the scores and commentary collected are shared in reports like this one and online in real time so that other providers and IT professionals can benefit from their peers’ experiences.

software customer experience pillars

To supplement the data gathered with this standard evaluation, KLAS also creates various supplemental evaluations that target a subset of KLAS’ overall sampling and delve deeper into the most pressing questions facing healthcare technology today.

The data in this report comes from both evaluation types and was collected over the last 12 months; the number of unique responding organizations for each is given in the chart below.

What Does “Limited Data” Mean?

Some products are used in only a small number of facilities, some vendors are resistant to providing client lists, and some respondents choose not to answer particular questions. Thus a vendor’s sample size may vary from question to question and may not reach KLAS’ required threshold of 15 unique respondents. When a vendor’s sample size for a particular question is less than 15, the score for that question is marked with an asterisk (*) or otherwise designated as “limited data.” If the sample size is less than 6, no score is shown. Note that when a vendor has a low number of reporting sites, the possibility exists for KLAS scores to change significantly as new surveys are collected.

Overall scores are measured on a 100-point scale and represent the weighted average of several yes/no questions as well as other questions scored on a 9-point scale.

about this report

Product Designations Used in This Report

  • Mostly Ambulatory [A]: Product for which the majority of respondents are associated with ambulatory care.
  • Primarily Services [S]: Offering that consists primarily of services rather than software.
author - Amanda Wind Smith
Amanda Wind Smith
author - Jess Wallace-Simpson
Jess Wallace-Simpson
author - Robert Ellis
Project Manager
Robert Ellis
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This material is copyrighted. Any organization gaining unauthorized access to this report will be liable to compensate KLAS for the full retail price. Please see the KLAS DATA USE POLICY for information regarding use of this report. © 2024 KLAS Research, LLC. All Rights Reserved. NOTE: Performance scores may change significantly when including newly interviewed provider organizations, especially when added to a smaller sample size like in emerging markets with a small number of live clients. The findings presented are not meant to be conclusive data for an entire client base.

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